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Monday, August 11, 2014

Themes That Rocked! Abandoned Places With Andrew Leon

Please welcome author extraordinaire, Andrew Leon!

What made you run with the theme of abandoned places?

It was an idea my wife had. Initially, the idea was, "Wouldn't some of these places be cool as settings for stories," which I thought was a cool idea, but I didn't want this year to be as research intensive as the last couple of years, so I thought I'd just post a few pictures and a blurb to go with them. However, once I started looking up the places, the histories were often so fascinating that I couldn't resist telling about the places, too.

Did you Google search or were there websites you used for resources?

The original concept came from a news article... somewhere. I probably have the link still lying around. After that, I started looking up some of the places from the article and, from there, I found several websites that specialized in pictures of abandoned places. Still, it was a lot of back and forth, because, frequently, the pictures wouldn't come with information, so, then, there ended up being research even though I had intended to not spend time on research. heh

Which place was your favorite?

Oh... Man, I don't even know. North Brother Island? Qasr el Baron? Kalavantin Durg? Angkor Wat? Basically, I picked places (overall) that made me say, "Oh! This place is cool!" so I liked nearly every place I picked.

Which letter was the most challenging?

J, I think. That's why it got a more generic entry than most of the others. Not that X was easy. Or Z. Surprisingly, I had a lot of options for Y.

What’s the most common location of abandonment?

That, I'm not really sure about, but the type that surprised me the most was the amusement parks. There are a ton of abandoned amusement parks all over the world, and I don't think I was really expecting that.

I’d never heard of Teufelsberg. Which place (or places) surprised you?

Places like Craco surprised me, where whole populations had to just get up and move. Holland Island, too. I was surprised to find that that had been a whole town and that they had packed up and moved, including many of the buildings, away. Actually, I suppose I find it surprising that they lived there to begin with, but I suppose it seemed safe enough when they moved onto the island.

Have you visited any of them? Do you want to?

I went to Wolf House. It's pretty amazing looking at the stone walls that have been there for a century. London was correct that the place was built to last. Except for the whole fire part. I almost went to Alcatraz, but I got left behind. The pictures from there were taken by my wife. I suppose I will eventually get around to going. I'd like to take a trip to Devil's Slide; it's not too far from here. Those are the realistic ones, but I'd love to visit most of the places. I mean, there are some amazing places. I'd love to go up the climb to heaven. That would be amazing.

If you participate in the Challenge next year, do you have a theme in mind?

Ah, yes, well, I had decided to not participate next year but, then, I had an awesome idea. My own idea this time, not my wife's, and an idea that hasn't been done before. Not just a theme that hasn't been done, but a whole way of doing it that hasn't been done. It's... well, let's just say it's ambitious, and I'm already working on it because of that.

Dude, that is ambitious. I don’t even know what I’m posting next week… Thanks, Andrew!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE


  1. Hi Andrew and Alex .. I hadn't picked up on Andrew's theme ... no excuse just never got around to looking for abandoned properties! What a great idea though, and I see last year's too I missed the 'How to Be' ... live and learn for me I guess - next year .. I'll be a-watching!

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Thanks for doing the interview, Andrew!

  3. great interview... i feel so bad that i wasn't on my game last April... thanks for the total recap!


  4. Great interview and fascinating topic! Another blog to visit on my road trip!

  5. I really enjoyed the abandoned places theme. I too was surprised about the amusement parks. Glad you will be there next year after all Andrew.

  6. I never found this blog and this sounds amazing. I always wanted to go to Angkor Wat. I will have to take a look at his blog from April

  7. Thanks for having me Alex!
    There are definitely some interesting places out there!

  8. I enjoyed your theme last year and often wandered off to go look at more abandoned pics because they were very interesting. Can't wait to see what you've got planned for this year.

  9. I loved your ( or your wife's) abandoned places theme! It was truly amazing. I think the amusement parks were probably the most intriguing tooo. The echoes of children's laughter and all that...... Thanks for doing the interview!

  10. Glad to learn about your theme and blog, Leon. I woke up at the beginning of April with an idea for 2015! I didn't provide any pictures for either of my A to Zs - sometimes I only look at pictures and don't read every word. Apologies for not commenting on your blog as well as here. Open ID is fickle. It can take 3 goes to post a comment or it might work first time. Sue

  11. Jean: I'm sure as it closer to it there will be leaks.

    Donna: Oh, yeah. It was my pleasure.

    sue: Well, are you working on it, yet?

  12. Sounds like an amazing theme!
    There are so many interesting blogs/themes during the A to Z challenge. Some are bound to slip through...

  13. I'll have to make a note about these place and do a little sightseeing. I think the theme was brilliant!

  14. Michelle: There are a lot of participants.

    cleemckenzie: Thanks! And let me know if you manage to make it to any of the places.

  15. I loved that theme! The only better thing would be to be able to travel the world for free and write about each place.

  16. Stephanie: I know! Someone needs to pay me to do that!

  17. I enjoyed Andrew's theme and didn't realize there were so many "lost" places out there. It's true that many of them would make some great story settings, too.

  18. Mark: Yeah, I didn't realize it, either. It was surprising.

  19. One of the many blogs I didn't get to, but so pleased it's a theme that rocked cos now I can go enjoy it - it sounds exactly up my street :) x

  20. Suzanne: I wish some of those places were up my street. Okay, so Wolf House kind of is, but still...


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